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Korean Cortina - now the hottest Stellar in the UK!

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Obviously not:


The vehicle details for E591 BRM are:


Date of Liability 01 12 2014

Date of First Registration 10 05 1988

Year of Manufacture 1988

Cylinder Capacity (cc) 1597cc

Vehicle Status Licence Not Due

Awesome!! You hearing this Felly? It liiiiiivvvvveeeessssss!

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Best wishes with the resto of the Stellar, mat_the_cat! :)


Restoring a Stellar - good stuff. The last ones were on a J plate although the supposed replacement (Sonata?) was launched well before then.


The Stellar was replaced in 1991/2 by the Lantra. The Sonata was introduced in 1989 as a rival to the Ford Granada although priced more in line with the Sierra.

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I did see a pretty minty looking gold Stellar at Stanford Hall last summer





Didn't that end up getting raced?



Obviously not:


The vehicle details for E591 BRM are:


Date of Liability 01 12 2014

Date of First Registration 10 05 1988

Year of Manufacture 1988

Cylinder Capacity (cc) 1597cc

Vehicle Status Licence Not Due


I just googled "e591 brm banger racing" and it came up with a load of links to some darryl hanah porn-o-like films

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So I'm not the only one then...although that is considerably tidier than mine!


I've been Googling this evening for the nearest Hyundai dealer as there are a couple of bits I need which I'm struggling to find elsewhere. The handbrake cable is similar to that for a Cortina, but not a direct swap so I'll try and find a genuine one before I modify the brackets on the floorpan. The other thing is the choke cable, which IIRC (when I last changed it several years ago) is moulded onto the knob, which contains the switch for the warning light. Plan B would be Speedy Cables though.


Anyway, I've just noticed there is a Hyundai dealer in Aberystwyth, and seeing as the plan is to have it ready to bring to Shitefest, this might be worth a detour for the photo opportunity!

Back to the car - I've just welded in a patch at the back of the rear wheel arch:
Not my neatest job, as I blew through in a couple of places...I cut the patch too small and had to grind back rather than cut out some rust on the surface.
The area above the fuel tank is now free of rust and coated in underbody wax, so that can go back in shortly:
And the propshaft is now fully rebuilt with 3 new Ujs and a new centre bearing & rubber:
New UJs fitted with grease nipples, which pleases me immensely :-)
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Question time for any Cortina experts - I'm putting the tank back in after about 8 years, and I have a problem. It seems like the tank straps are too short, and WAAAY too short at that, like a good 8". From what I can tell it looks identical to a Cortina set up, and may even be the same tank. Basically two hockey stick bolts hanging down at the front and two straps, each with a kind of fat T shape at the rear end.


As I remember(!) it, they just engage directly into slots in the rear crossmember. But then it doesn't reach the front! Only thing I can think is that there is another piece missing, which goes between the strap and the shell. But I don't remember this, and there is nothing like this in the box I got the straps out of.


Off to do a Google image search, but if anyone has any bright ideas I'd be grateful...

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A picture paints a thousand words and all that...






You can see how much longer the straps need to be, but I just don't understand it! It did cross my mind that maybe they're from another vehicle, but they were in the back of the Stellar, and painted at the same time as the tank (I can tell because I was running short of black Hammerite at the time, so the first coat was yellow which I had lots of!)


I'll just have to cut and weld them, but it doesn't feel 'right'.

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Looks pretty much identical to mine, aprt from the fact they fit that is! There must be something missing at the rear end to go between the strap and the crossmember - even though the strap fits in the crossmember, when it does the right angle at the front end of the strap won't reach to the front edge of the tank. Cut 'n shut will sort it!


Bad news is that both the handbrake and choke cables have been discontinued, and I don't even have the original handbrake cable as a pattern. Slightly better news is that I got the part numbers, and did a spot of Googling. No joy with the choke, but I was able to find a list of OE manufacturers who made the cable for Hyundai, and their part numbers. So I searched for those in turn, and bizarrely found one (made by Kavo) listed on UK Amazon. I duly bought it, but the delivery time is given as 3-4 months, so I guess it has to come all the way over from Korea!!! Presumably by rowing boat.


Still, plenty of stuff to do to keep me busy...

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Back when I stripped down the front suspension, I used an oxy acetylene torch on the lower wishbone bolts, bending one and shearing off the other when I tried to undo it. I wasn't especially worried, as everything up to then had been Mk 3/4/5 Cortina and hence easily available. But no, they apparently had a plain hole in the crossmember and a standardish bolt. Even 10 years ago Hyundai had discontinued the bolts, although they helpfully charged me an arm and two legs for the wrong part.


The Stellar has a slotted hole in the crossmember, so the correct bolts have an offset washer on each end so the position of the pivot point can be adjusted. Nothing for it but to get something made up!




When it came to moving house and getting the car on the trailer, I had to just put standard bolts in to assemble the suspension and roll the car - now I can finish the job properly. As well as replacing all the ball joint boots!


It might seem like I'm taking a fairly random approach to working on the car, but I find that if I have several jobs on the go at once, if one goes badly or starts pissing me off, I'll always have another to start on. So it keeps my motivation up, which is partly what caused the whole project to stall in the first place. That and getting married, moving house twice, and two house renovations...

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Today's job was a bit of a bodge, but at least I've sorted the petrol tank straps! We have lots of galvanised joist hangers around left over from some DIY on the house, so cut a couple of pieces from them as they were similar thickness, then cut the straps and welded them in.




Folded the edges over and welded the other side:




It'll all be hidden by the rear bumper anyway, so I'm not too worried about appearances. Paint should be dry by tomorrow so the fuel tank can be fitted properly.

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Chipping away at things bit by bit - fuel tank now in properly:




Put a fair bit of tension in the straps, and it is rock solid; I can shake the tank and the whole car moves. One more job crossed off. But before I can put the back bumper on there are a few areas needing welding - the back of the other wheel arch, and a spot below the nearside rear light. Managed to pretty much weld a patch in, but ran out of gas right at the end hence the splatter!




I'll rig up a mini bottle tomorrow, as it's an 80 mile round trip to anywhere doing decent sized gas bottles.

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  • 2 weeks later...

It's not very exciting, but so far this week I've replaced a couple of exhaust manifold to downpipe studs, which I'll use brass nuts on. That way any thread damage should be confined to the nuts and not the studs - plus if they round off or won't undo, they'll be a piece of cake to cut off.


I've also painted and refitted the engine under shield, which is surprisingly weighty!




Still loads of welding to do, but I reckon I'll take a few days off work to tackle that. In the meantime I'm working away at small jobs to keep my motivation up - if it feels like the rest of the car is nearly there when I start the metalwork, it'll be an added incentive to get it finished.

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Bugger. Spent a couple of hours trying to bleed the brakes (and finding all the unions which needed tightening!) with my Easybleed kit, but still got a soft pedal. I'm almost out of fluid now, so think I'll get a spotless container so I can reuse what comes out next time I try! Might see if I can rope in an assistant too, but pressure bleeding has always been quicker and more effective for me before. This is the first time I've started with a completely empty system though - recon front calipers, new rear wheel cylinders, new stainless hoses and 95% of the pipework is new - so it may be normal to be a PITA getting all the air out?


No photos, as I'm sure you can imagine what brake bleeding looks like...

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I bought a vacuum bleeder for my motorbike - it can be used on cars as well.


A piece of piss to use and a one man operation.


You can get one for around £20.


As for the earlier "not very interesting", on the contrary, I am really enjoying the thread.


The stellar was underrated and now very rare.

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Thanks for the kind words :-) Hoping to have more positive stuff to report next week when I can get back to it. I've got a section of ball joint boots which I need to fit, and hopefully a handbrake cable on the way.



What is he building in the dormer?? - some welding/grinding action sparks LOL


Ha ha! I should have asked!

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Had a bit of trouble getting a firm pedal on an estate car once - after a bit of a think, it was the rear balance valve (allows more pressure to the rear brakes when the car is loaded) this needs to be held in the open (loaded) position  whilst bleeding 

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If only I had such advanced technology! Good shout though, but I'm sure that with a fresh look at it things will be better. I often find that I'll walk away from a problem, come back to it and sort it straight away. In which case why do I find it so bloody hard to walk away in the first place?!

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Great thread for a now very rare car that was previously unloved by the masses.


I had a 1986 Hyundai Pony of similar quality. Very reliable but made of the cheapest possible materials that looked worn out in no time.

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The interior has actually held up pretty well for its 186k miles (the majority driven by me) - OK the steering wheel has worn smooth but the only fabric wear is a small patch on the edge of the driver's seat base. I actually have a piece of matching fabric which I will probably use to get it repaired at some point. The strange thing is I can't remember how I obtained it! I'm guessing I cut it from a scrap car but certainly don't remember doing so...


The £12 bargain handbrake cable arrived today so I set about seeing whether that would fit. At first it all looked good and fitted all the brackets perfectly. But when I came to attach it to the lever it turned out it was slightly too short (being for the '86 onwards models). At least that was an easy fix, as I just drilled out the head of an allen bolt and welded it on the handbrake rod to extend it a touch:




And now for the first time in 10 years, it has working brakes! Another photo of shiny bits:




I haven't had another go at bleeding the brakes (you can see the tubing in the above picture) but I have at least found out where the air is. Pretty sure it's in the rear wheel cylinders, as I can compress then easily with my fingers. And I'm wondering whether it's down to the way I've plumbed them in? The only other beam axled drum braked vehicle I have is the van, and that has the flexi hose going to a T piece, and then rigid lines going to each cylinder.


I really can't remember what arrangement the Stellar used to have, but now I've plumbed it with the pipe going to one cylinder, then a second pipe coming out from where a bleed screw would normally be and on to the opposite cylinder. It's so long since I did the pipes I haven't got a clue whether I simply replicated what was originally there, or decided to try something different! Can't see why it wouldn't work hydraulically, but I'm starting to have a nagging doubt...

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  • mat_the_cat changed the title to Korean Cortina - now the hottest Stellar in the UK!

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